AKRON, Ohio — Jamia Truss is still in shock over what happened Friday night. She and her boyfriend went to Acme at 600 South Ave. in Tallmadge around 8:30 p.m.
On their way home, things took a turn for the worst on The Brooklands Street.
“We were driving down the street and I heard a car and it sounded like it was very close to me,” she said. “We both turned around and we see the car is right behind us and it bumped my rear end.”
She said they didn’t notice him until it was too late. She said he was driving a light-colored, Buick Sedan.
“We didn’t honk our horn at him or do anything wrong to him. We didn’t know he was behind us at first until he nipped our car,” said Truss.
They pulled off on the side of the street.
“This guy pulled in front of us and hopped out of his car and started yelling racial slurs calling us names, called us the n-word,” she recounted.
She said they were shocked and drove away, but that the man followed them.
“We went to the next street over and he found us immediately, blocked us off. We couldn’t make a turn, we couldn’t go anywhere,” she said.
At high speeds, the couple was trying to get away, but Truss said the man was honking his horn, bumping into the back of their car and side swiping them. During the encounter and because of the high speed and bumps, her phone flew from her lap and she couldn’t call 911.
“We thought he was going to shoot our car up or we thought he was going to ram us into a pole. We both thought we were, literally, going to die. I thought that was going to be my last day,” she said.
The couple drove to the nearest and safest place they could think of, her boyfriend’s mother’s house.
“The police station was so far away from us and my boyfriend felt like the safest place was his mother’s house because he had his family there,” she said.
The debacle didn’t end there, though, because the man followed. Truss’ boyfriend got out of the car to ask the man why he was doing what he was doing and Truss said the driver attacked her boyfriend. Truss said the man was overpowered by her boyfriend and stopped, but not before biting him several times and threatening to kill them. She said only when neighbors and family members tried to get his license plate number did he drive away.
Truss said a relative called police during the fight, but said it took an officer nearly an hour to show up at her boyfriend’s mom’s house.
Lt. Michael Miller, with Akron Police, confirmed to News 5 that they were investigating the case and working to determine the identity of the driver and if the driver is the owner of the car he used to tail Truss and her boyfriend.
In the meantime, Truss felt like the driver targeted them and doesn’t feel safe on the roads
“I’m scared it could happen to someone else and I feel like the police need to do something and get this guy. If it can happen to me for no apparent reason it can happen to anybody,” she said. “He must’ve seen something he didn’t like so he hit us and he attacked us from that point and this was all intentional the whole time, this wasn’t an accident.”
Tim Dimoff is a security expert and consultant. He said road rage incidents over the past several years have skyrocketed.
“There is a definitive rise in aggression and violence,” he said. “There's a false sense of security when people are in a car and another person is in a car and there's some type of disagreement versus when they're standing two or three feet away.”
He has a few tips: if you find yourself in an accident but don’t feel comfortable pulling over in the area, don’t.
“You have all the legal right to drive your car to another location. I highly suggest that people that are in those situations drive to a gas station, a grocery store, a convenience store, some place where there's lots of light, bright lights, people in and out,” said Dimoff.
If you find that someone is acting unreasonable and aggressive, Dimoff said do not escalate the situation by responding with aggressive behavior.
“You can go very quickly from verbally calling each other names to an actual attack, so understand that that is just the nature of aggression and that's why you don't want to feed that fire,” he said.
Lastly, if you’re ever getting tailed by an aggressive driver, call police right away.